tv [untitled] September 30, 2012 5:00pm-5:30pm PDT
the news monday through friday and host of the community affairs show "beyond the headlines" which takes a in-depth look at issues. cheryl is a long time volunteer for the san francisco leauge of women voters and moderating many of the reforms and past recipient of the women that could be president award. we are honored to welcome cheryl. cheryl. >> thank you everybody. thank you for coming out tonight on a cold foggy san francisco evening. this district election is really important. i am proud to be here. this is a great organization. we have nine candidates and hello everyone. it's a pleasure to see everyone in the beginning and hopefully they remember me
later. the way it will work is the candidates will have one minute that you submitted. i have four questions to start with, plus the league will have their own questions and we invite you to get your questions and someone will get them. the questions have been submitted on the leauge of women voters website and every candidate is going to answer every question, so now we have time keepers. our time keepers, our lovely time keepers are out in front here and they will hold up a yellow card to signify to the candidates have third seconds remaining and a red card when it's time to stop and we ask that everyone be respectful,y
-- no booing and no hissing and we want to stay on the time line and you have important decisions to make on november 6 so this will give you an opportunity to have your candidates heard. all right. so we're going to begin -- it's alphabetical order and then the next name down so i have a list designed by the leauge of women voters and the first question. what is in your opinion the most important policy issue in san francisco and what would you do to address it. >> thank you very much for having nee and thank you for coming and finding parking around here. i appreciate that. the single most important -- it's tough to narrow it down like that. i really feel that city hall and residents and students and small businesses just need to have a much less
adversairal relationship and i know that is very generalized. i am interested in making things easier for homeowners and students and visitors and one of the things coming up a lot in this campaign is public financing and i have taken a stand from the very beginning they would not accept 1 dollar in public financing money. not that i oppose it per se but these are hundreds and thousands of dollars and we are losing money and candidates are spending it on consultants in walnut creek or in san jose and one way is to keep money here in san francisco by changing the system. >> mr. crawlly same question. what in your opinion is the single most policy issue in san francisco and if elected what would you do to address it? >> well, there are several and
i believe that if i am elected supervisor the first thing i will deal with is public safety. as you know there are 344 police officers that are retiring by next november. in this year's budget there are approximately three classes inside of it and outside of that budget we will be losing that kind of necessary police services without putting more classes in. the other one i believe i have been part of the convengdz visitors bureau and for three terms in 18 years. i believe hopelessness is a large issue in here in san francisco and i believe in november the police services and the courts will try to mitigate some of the issues in a compassionate way for those but for visitors it's homelessness. >> thank you sir. mr. gardendeal. >> the most important issue if it's a single issue --
>> policy issue. >> pensions. we cannot pretend that is what is happening a hundred miles away in stockton that we're immune to it, so we need to deal with the pensions. we did baby steps with our initiative last fall but we need to do more and along with that we need to be careful as to what we're spending money on. we need to have an accountability of all of the programs. we need to measure them for success and what we're paying for actually works. >> all right. thank you sir. mr. garcia. >> i somewhat agree with him and the issue that is largest faces us in san francisco are the economy and there are two parts to that and creating jobs and trying to get an economy going that is sustainable and can take care of the unfunded liabilities that we have that are so large. we have $323 million in unfunded liabilities for our health
care, and i agree with him again on the pension issue. we absolutely have to do something about it. what i would imagine what we have to do is examine whether or not we need to find benefits or contributions, maybe we need people to retire at a later age, whether people continue to retire and have the pay at $300,000 rather than 150. >> thank you sir. ms. gavin. >> for me the issue in regards to policy that i think many of us know is malfeasance and corruption at city hall. i think that the back room deals that city hall is doing adversely impacts every person in this room. i don't know if you are aware we have not had a sunshine committee in the past four months, and sunshine gives all the right to redress
government and it's our open government that you the voters have voted for so for four months the board is doing whatever they want to do, and there is no process for a check and balance, and that cannot go on while they make back room deals. they strategize and leave and go to other appointments that they are elected to, so with corruption here at city hall and we must face it. we must deal with it. >> thank you. mr. lagos. >> yes thank you cheryl. the number one issue for me is major land use development and affordable housing. i think they're codependent issues. the reason why i say this is because we have had a policy in the city for the last 40 or 50 years of transforming a lot of the working class, middle class neighborhoods into basically
upper middle class, upper class neighborhoods and in my opinion it's destroying our city and there needs to be a stop put to it, and so that's what i see as the major problem here and the major issue which i would tackle if i were elected in november. >> all right thank you sir. mr. rogers. >> yes. i think the most important thing that could be improved upon is the standardize of the fire hydrants in san francisco. presently they are not the same as the rest of the fire hydrants in california. should we have a catastrophic fighter and visiting firefighters come to san francisco in order to help us putting out the fire they can't use the same fire hydrants in the effective manner that they should. - think this should be
corrected almost immediately and i think one other public thing that would be useful would be the patrolling of bart police by foot. presently they have a habit of using lethal violence too quickly and i think if they got to know the customers better they would be less likely to do that. thank you. >> thank you sir. mr. scary. >> simply it's the budget. the budget is why, why. >> >> without of whack. 1996 it was 3.$5 billion, same people, more services. today is seven point three billion people and same people and less service. the government gives you more of what you don't want and less of what you do want, and we want more service. we have to pay for it. my suggestion is we look at the wasteful spending in government and i conservatively
believe there is a minimum 10% waste in government. if you were to take the money that we have and the waste is it's $720 million. that covers more than enough to cover the unfunded liabilities. it's the budget and the wasteful spending. thank you. >> all right. thank you sir: mr. yee. >> thank you cheryl. the most important thing -- the most important immediate policy that we can address and adl of us can address is proposition e. that is to move our payroll tax to gross receipt tax and why? because by doing that we can create jobs in san francisco and keep people in san francisco . the kids are growing up and we want them to stay but we need
jobs. i agree with mr. crowley with the police force and make sure that is fully staffed and i have been speaking to the police athletic league and they have a program to breen the teenagers to be interns in the police force and they would feed into the police cadet program. thank you. >> thank you sir. the next question the city's liabilities are projected to increase in the next coming year. s what new or increased fees should it institute and i will repeat the question and we will begin with mr. crowley. >> i would say that one of the bigger things that we will have before us is the gross receipts tax check that norman talked about trading from the payroll tax which is punitive. the next thing i would do is increase the foot print on mos sony center
and that brings in a lot of money to the general fund and erect a multi-purpose area and bring in more money to the coffers and a green industry. one reason to bring them in is people come and go into the city of san francisco and that is a large footprint. they come and go. the visitors spend approximately $1 million of revenue in san francisco every hour and save us $1,100 in services and that's what i suspect we should be doing. >> thank you. >> if the city needs to generate new revenue for the budget what fees should it institute? >> well, first of all we need to close loop holes. we can't have big office towers sold and pretending they're at the 1978 price so we need to close the loopholes. we need to
encourage small business growth. we can't live on facebook alone and make sure a small business owner with an idea city hall makes it easy to grow and start your business because that will drive a dynamic local economy and i think that's the key. >> all right. >> it seems as though we're all avoiding the question, and that is what new fees and what new taxes should we impose and i guess that's because we're all reluctant to do that and we feel the better way is figure out new sources of revenue for the city, so i agree that we need to do things that would enhance the quality of life in san francisco and draw more tourists and expand that center and we're turning away dollars to the city. we need a new facility and we don't have one currently for that and we need to streamline the planning
process. i spent seven years on the board of appeals and there are things sitting in the pipeline and create necessary jobs and revenue and we're not taking advantage of that and we need to do things at increased revenue and i am reluctant to talk about imposing new fees and taxes. >> ms. gavin. >> i would say one of the things that we have to do would be close the loop holes that we give big business. they come here and they say they're going to provide jobs and jobs and the jobs don't materialize so they don't need the tax break. i also agree with expanding m mosconi and we have to look at everything in the budget and all options need to be on the table. everything needs to be on the table and again as i say taxes cannot just be one solution.
everything must be looked at. >> all right. thank you. >> yes. well, i have a novel idea to generate revenue and it's imposing a war profiteers tax on all corporations that do business here in san francisco. we have a lot of war profiteers that make billions with business here in san francisco and waging war in the middle east, so i would legislate some kind of tax revenue that would impose that tax and we need to stop gouging average taxpayers, homeowners, consumers in generating revenue for the city. we need to go after the people with the deep pockets and that is the corporations, so that's what i would suggest. >> all right. mr. rogers. >> you know i think this question would have been better asked maybe last year.
presently the revenue is 7.5 billion dollars generated and the year before we had only 4 billion so we're almost double what we had in terms of money. that being said i think with the gross receipt tax reform that there will also be more money coming in so really we're going to be having plenty of money, but one thing i don't think we should do is try to develop and tax developers and be able to generate money through the general fund by unbridled growth. i think this is actually a cancer for san francisco and that we really should not be doing unbridled growth. we should listen to the voters who voted for proposition m. >> all right. thank you.
>> i am excited to give my answer. i'm opposed to all taxes increasing period. the government does not create any wealth. the only way you create wealth is you create opportunity. the way you create opportunity you let the free market work. you bring businesses in. you don't put your foot on the throat of businesses. i have a small business here in san francisco. two i have started and successful for 30 years. i wouldn't open another business in san francisco and i'm a city kid. it's the tax regulations and the regulations that break the backs of the small businesses. when they talk about tax receipt versus employee receipts and they say it's going to generate $40 million but cost them another $8 million, i can guarantee it's going to cost three times that much but what
it does is drive businesses out of the city. i am against all tax increases period. >> thank you sir. mr. yee. >> >> so this answer to me is several folds. number one, we got make sure that the government is efficient, so first thing i will do is ask for an audit of the departments and programs and see what works and what doesn't work. if it doesn't work we will get rid of it. we need to support small businesses and i could go through several things why we should do that. they create 50% of the jobs in san francisco and we also need -- i would support giving business incentives like twitter and create the company here and create more jobs for san francisco. by increasing the jobs opportunities and the business of revenues the revenues will increase without taxes. >> mr. bye. >> thank you. i do agree that
efficiency is something that really can increase the way money is used in this city. i am so glad that the pension reform is being dealt with now but we need to go further with that. we need to have caps, tiers on pension, keep city money in the city. i don't want any new taxes and i am a homeowner and i will vote for the city college tax but it's terrible we came to this point and we have to tax residents of problems what shouldn't have been there from the get go and supporting small businesses. it's the heart of the city and small businesses and tourism and in discussing tourism you need to discuss homelessness on the street. i have friends from all over the world they are a gawft to howl people on the street and i am happy that the mayor is tackling that working with sfpd
and the courts and get the chronically alcoholic and sick people off the streets to really save a lot of money for the city. >> all right thank you. our next question. what steps should the city be taking to increase the supply of new housing units? >> district seven has a unique opportunity to help the city. we have needs for growth and we need to develop housing and we have an area and park merced that is going to be developed and i think it's a great area to provide density as long as there is the transportation, public transportation is provided and improved upon and district seven is unique because it's a lot of single family homes and people don't want density there. it's part of the ux new how.
>> >> >> and it's unique to grow and provide housing. >> all right. >> thank you. what we need to do is increase the density in san francisco but very carefully and incrementally in a way that doesn't destroy the quality of the neighborhoods so we need to work with the planning department and look at those parts of the city to do in fill and projects in district seven or other districts we have sensible models and do housing on transit corridors and retail on the lower flows and don't exceed the height limits in neighborhoods that is not desirable and we have the sixth street corridor and parts of the mission -- i'm sorry. south of the mission where could be increasing the height and having pdr's downstairs. in other
words industry serving facilities and still get reasonable housing in those areas. >> all right. ms. gavin. thank you. >> well, unlike some of the fellow candidates here i am suing to stop the agreement. the case is in federal court. i don't think park merced needs to be destroyed but this is an important issue in terms of housing and affordable housing. i don't think density is -- i think we have to be very careful about that. i think san francisco is unique in the way -- and we don't look like some cities and we have areas that have problems, but we have a beautiful city, and it's the open space that makes the city very, very beautiful, and we also are federally recognized
for sanctuary of rare birds that migrate along the coast. there are about 500,000 and when thinking about growth we need to think about the animals and the environment and the ecology as well. >> all right. mr. lagos. >> yes. one of the reasons i moved to san francisco 35 years ago was because there was not a large population here. i moved from los angeles and it's grown 50,000 people in those years. i don't want to see it grow further per se and i'm not a fan of developing more housing but to answer the question if we add more housing i would say loosen up the rules to allow homeowners to create inlaw apartments and that way you open up unit availability at some level for additional housing. other than that i would be opposed to any
new construction of any major land use of development for housing including the three major projects in the pipeline. >> mr. rogers. >> if there is going to be development it could be in the trans bays terminal that is truly close to rapid transit. walking distance to bart. walking distance to the train that heads down south. this would be an ideal place for a development to occur. a place like park merced where you have 17,000 people would be moving in there. 6,000 parking stalls, a car dependent project, right next to 19th avenue. you folks know how bad that is. how would it be better if we had more people living in park merced? i don't think so. so in my
opinion growth should really be stopped. that was what the voters wanted in the 1980's when they voted for proposition m. thank you. >> if i do remember about 30-40 years ago san francisco was approaching a million i think in population. might have gone over but it was close so i know that we can handle it and i am very strong supporter of the park merced project which ties into how we can increase our tax base income. you turn around and create opportunity. the government cannot create opportunity. the development will create opportunities which will bring employment in. it will bring businesses in and it will turn around and increase our tax base
and it has to come from the private sector and i believe the project is a very good project and i support it. >> thank you sir. mr. yee. >> here are my two criterias when it comes to housing. i believe in reasonable growth and i believe in healthy robust community process, so here we are. we just developed something in our district on ocean avenue and we had a healthy discussion around the avalon development. broke ground. no protests. people agreed on it. felix circle we had a healthy discussion and we will have additional housing there too. i was just up on crest mount drive. there is controversy over there whether this is reasonable or not and i don't think the developer who is have presented the project is reasonable, but the neighbors
in seem to be reasonable because they weren't saying "don't build anything". they said "let's scale down the development somewhat" so i support those notions of reasonable growth, community process and i do support proposition c for affordable housing funds. >> thank you sir. >> well, there is some room for increased density but let's face it. this is a finite 49 square miles and that defines san francisco. i am not anti-development by any means but it needs to be done right wherever it's done in conjunction with transportation, water, sewer, electrical infrastructure. transportation is so important when talking about projects like park merced or others. if you talk about building a project anywhere and look at the eir process or elements that have to do with transportation and just rely on
muni and near a station or track. we just can't put it off like that and we have one element -- excuse me, probably going to work. no. so it means doing it right in conjunction with all of the existing infrastructure including muni. >> all right. mr. crowley. >> thank you cheryl. we are blessed. we are land locked but i believe in this case we need to have balance. we have a housing trust before us this november they believe needs to be replacing the redevelopment agency which has indexes for salaries of folks that can benefit from an affordable housing policy. i would also say that most homes and apartments and condo conversions need to be near transportation and retail wraps. we have things up in hunter's point and treasure island coming on point
and with that i hope park merced gets built but not without tenant protections and that's what i suggest. >> thank you. i want to remind you we're taking questions from the audience so if we have more questions is a good time to collect those. looks like everybody dealt with the park merced issue so our next question is how would you solve the homelessness problem in san francisco? and we will start with mr. garcia. >> my god, what an easy question. of course we're not going to solve it. the best we can do is try to minimize it and i think we are on the right track and we have a new homeless czar in pl dusty and i like the deal he's dealing with it and a way of dealing with chronic